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Saint Louis County, MO August 5, 2008 Election
Smart Voter


By Jeanne Kirkton

Candidate for State Representative; District 91; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." + William Butler Yeats

A well-rounded education gives children the skills they require for social and economic mobility and teaches them the values and lessons they need to become productive adults. Obtaining that goal depends upon nurturing and strong parental, community and state support of learning that begins in early childhood and goes all the way through higher education.

Top-notch schools are the result of respect, caring, community, parental and educator commitment plus adequate funding. Individual attention can make all the difference in the success or failure of a pupil. It is a compelling reason for small class sizes that create a mutually beneficial, productive and rewarding atmosphere for educators and students alike.

The State of Missouri ranks 38th out of 50 in funding for public education. That results in inadequate and inequitable funding for many of our 524 school districts and places a substantial property tax load on citizens in many local communities. Educational systems cannot survive much less excel if they aren't valued and maintained.

Each year nearly 20,000 Missouri students fail to graduate. The social implications are tremendous. Missouri doesn't collect and analyze truancy data, but it should. That data will help to proactively latch onto those students who are falling through the cracks early, before it's too late.

Quality education sets the foundation for life-long learning and critical thinking, attracts first-rate employers, and helps build our economic strength in a way that improves the quality of life for all of us. The benefits of a strong public school system are many and it warrants our steadfast commitment.

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